Zygomycosis is a a blood vessel-invading infection, sometimes referred to as mucormycosis, phycomycosis or hyphomycosis, that affects both animals and humans. Rare compared to other infectious pathologies, it is gaining more ground recently. The disease has predilection for certain groups of people, including immune-suppressed and diabetic patients. It is caused by Mucorales and Entomophthorales fungal species. Mucorales cause mucormycosis and include the genera Rhizopus, Mucor, Rhizomucor, Mortierella, Entomophthorales, and Absidia. These funguses are found throughout the natural environment and are present in soil and decaying vegetation. Generally, the Mucorales cause invasive, disseminated disease, while the Entomophthorales tend to cause localized subcutaneous and nasal granulomas. The ways of infection may be ingestion, inhalation, or wound contamination. Animal infections are reportable in the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world. The disease is often fatal when the heart becomes invaded.
Two forms of infection are seen in dogs and cats. The subcutaneous form affects tissues beneath the skin, while the visceral form affects internal organs. The subcutaneous form is characterized by solitary or multiple nodules and plaques, which are typically ulcerated, bleeding or draining. The visceral form can be fatal. Symptoms of abdominal zygomycosis vary and depend on the site and extent of involvement. Diarrhea and bloody stools are recorded. The diagnosis of zygomycosis is based on isolation of the pathogen from infected tissues and requires several laboratory tests and fungal cultures. If lungs and abdomen are involved, surgery is necessary to save the patient. Statins combined with amphotericin B have been reported to have a therapeutic potential against fungal infections caused by Zygomycetes species. The prognosis for visceral zygomycosis is poor.
Conidiobolomycosis is caused by Conidiobolus species and is characterized as a chronic, granulomatous fungal disease of the nasopharynx. On rare occasion disease can spread to other areas of the head and neck as well as disseminate throughout the body. Dogs infected with Conidiobolus species develop cough, dyspnea, weight loss, fever, and lethargy. Frequent productive cough is with expectoration of a white, foamy phlegm and occasional blood.5
zygomycosis - rare infection by fungi by Zygomacetes which most often causes destruction of tissues in the gastrointestinal tract
mucormycosis - a fungal disease which may take several forms, such as necrotic placentitis, lesions in various tissues and gastroenteritis and ulceration of the alimentary tract
Mucor - genus of saprophytic mold fungi; some species cause mucormycosis
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